Any iPhone Tips for Product Photography?

belome

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Hi,

I am a complete novice at photography looking to take product shoots of electronics - such as a computer mouse or keyboard. It's just for a little store, so it doesn't have to be the most professional shots.

I was fortunate enough to have borrowed a DSLR with a wide aperture lens, but now I must make do with my iPhone 4s. I do plan on upgrading to the newest iPhone 5s/6 when it comes out next month, however.

I've seen some product shots posted online that were done with iPhones, and I thought were more than acceptable for my purposes.


For my set up, I'm using a small product photography kit: Square Perfect SP500.


Here are some of my main questions:

1. Should I even use a wide aperture lens when shooting items the size of computer mice? When I was using the DSLR, I found the wide aperture lens to helpful in taking interesting shots with a blurred background.

But I found it frustrating when trying to capture all aspects of the mouse in the focus. Any general rules for product photography lenses?

2. Would you recommend any add-on iPhone lenses for product shoots? Would they be helpful for my situation? I do own an olloclip lens, but I've found that it hasn't been helpful with taking product pictures.

3. Would you recommend any camera apps for the iPhone?

4. My kit's provided 30 Watt/5400K CFL's are kind of dim. Would investing in a higher watt CFL aid my iPhone camera?

4. Any general or iPhone-specific tips for product shoots?

Thanks for your time!
 
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1. Should I even use a wide aperture lens when shooting items the size of computer mice? When I was using the DSLR, I found the wide aperture lens to helpful in taking interesting shots with a blurred background.

But I found it frustrating when trying to capture all aspects of the mouse in the focus. Any general rules for product photography lenses?

Not applicable to the iPhone as the iPhone as a fixed aperture.

2. Would you recommend any add-on iPhone lenses for product shoots? Would they be helpful for my situation? I do own an olloclip lens, but I've found that it hasn't been helpful with taking product pictures.

Night be useful but the money would be better spend elsewhere.

3. Would you recommend any camera apps for the iPhone?

Any photo app that lets you separate the focus point from the exposure point.

4. My kit's provided 30 Watt/5400K CFL's are kind of dim. Would investing in a higher watt CFL aid my iPhone camera?

Post a link to the light kit you have so we can know if it is a good kit to use.

4. Any general or iPhone-specific tips for product shoots?

Best tip is not use an iPhone so you can control the image a LOT more.
 
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belome

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1. Should I even use a wide aperture lens when shooting items the size of computer mice? When I was using the DSLR, I found the wide aperture lens to helpful in taking interesting shots with a blurred background.

But I found it frustrating when trying to capture all aspects of the mouse in the focus. Any general rules for product photography lenses?

Not applicable to the iPhone as the iPhone as a fixed aperture.

2. Would you recommend any add-on iPhone lenses for product shoots? Would they be helpful for my situation? I do own an olloclip lens, but I've found that it hasn't been helpful with taking product pictures.

Night be useful but the money would be better spend elsewhere.



Any photo app that lets you separate the focus point from the exposure point.

4. My kit's provided 30 Watt/5400K CFL's are kind of dim. Would investing in a higher watt CFL aid my iPhone camera?

Post a link to the light kit you have so we can know if it is a good kit to use.

4. Any general or iPhone-specific tips for product shoots?

Best tip is not use an iPhone so you can control the image a LOT more.

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I should have clarified that my first question was just a general question about cameras. Had I still had a DSLR to use, should I use a wide aperture lens for product shoots?

I was Googling and found that Camera+ allows me to separate the focus point from the exposure point. I'm about to buy it and give it a try!

My only alternative is an Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS, but I think that my iPhone takes better pictures. Could just be a novice's perspective though.

Also, this link is more descriptive about the kit I use.

Thanks!
 

Derrel

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The iPhone's biggest issue is that the shutter speed often stays at very slow speeds in dimmer lighting levels, so camera support really helps. A second thing with the iPhone is that the lens is short (meaning short, and also somewhat wide-angle) and you therefore are forced to be very close to small subjects; the biggest problem with being so close is that your own body can influence the lighting many times, usually in the form of a shadow from either your body, your camera, or your head! Using a tripod with an iPhone is actually a good idea if you need the sharpest photos, indoors, at slow speeds.
 
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belome

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The iPhone's biggest issue is that the shutter speed often stays at very slow speeds in dimmer lighting levels, so camera support really helps. A second thing with the iPhone is that the lens is short (meaning short, and also somewhat wide-angle) and you therefore are forced to be very close to small subjects; the biggest problem with being so close is that your own body can influence the lighting many times, usually in the form of a shadow from either your body, your camera, or your head! Using a tripod with an iPhone is actually a good idea if you need the sharpest photos, indoors, at slow speeds.

Awesome points, makes me even more excited that my iPhone tripod is coming in the mail today!

I actually didn't know that lighting affects shutter speed, so that is really good to know. I just though that low lighting resulted in grainy images, but now I really know the importance of a tripod indoors.

I guess I will go and invest in stronger CFL's!

Thanks for the post!
 

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I actually didn't know that lighting affects shutter speed, so that is really good to know. I just though that low lighting resulted in grainy images, but now I really know the importance of a tripod indoors.

I guess I will go and invest in stronger CFL's!

Less light means that you need a longer shutter speed to get a proper exposure. You are photographing non moving objects so as long as you prevent the camera from moving long shutter speeds should not be a problem.

You mentioned you have a iPhone tripod coming. That will help but touching the phone to take the photo will still probably cause it to shake a little. To prevent camera shake use the Irene headphones the volume + button on the headphones will work just like the volume + button on the phone and till trigger the phone to take a photo. Note that not all 3rd party camera apps support the volume + button taking the photo.
 

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Isn't there some sort of self timer (or app that provides it) for the iPhone? That would reduce shake as well.
 

Derrel

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Isn't there some sort of self timer (or app that provides it) for the iPhone? That would reduce shake as well.

I use an iPhone app called CP Pro, which has a stabilize-phone-before-taking-photo feature that can be turned on or off; it prevents the shutter from being released when the phone is moving too much for the shutter speed in use. CP Pro is very useful for getting SHARP, blur-free shots when using my iPhone 4 in lower light conditions, or whenever shake might be a factor. My iPhone has an f/2.8 lens with an ISO range of 80 to 1,000 ISO, and a shutter range of 1/15 second to 1/10800 second; what is maddening though is that the programmed auto in it favors SLOW speeds at LOW ISO values in conditions when it would be FAR better to move the speed up to 1/40 second and ISO 320 or 400; the programmers who built the factory camera application instead keep the ISO at 80 and the shutter at 1/15 second, as if the camera were designed by a bunch of *****ng idiots. So....camera shake and or subject motion blur are HUGE problems with the iPhone because of the dip***ts who designed the exposure program it uses.
 

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